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Robert A. Iverson January 19, 1931 - November 20, 2022

Date of Service

November 30, 2022

Robert A. Iverson born January 19, 1931, passed away November 20, 2022 (91) died peacefully at home.

He was predeceased by his parents, Bennie and Blanche Iverson, and siblings, Marlyn Iverson and Delaino Iverson. He is survived by his companion, Mary Pereira and friend, Cindy (Art) Gaona and cousin Roger Olson.

Visitation will be held from 5pm to 7pm on Wednesday, November 30th at Allen Mortuary, 247 N. Broadway in Turlock. A second visitation will be held from 5pm to 7pm on Tuesday, December 6th at Olson Schwartz Funeral Home, Bemidji, MN. A graveside service will be held at 11:00am on Wednesday, December the at the Buzzle Cemetery in Shevlin, MN.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Bobs’ memory to St. Joseph’s Indian School, 1301 North Main Street Chamberlain, SD 57325. 1-800-341-2235 saintjosephs@stjo.org

As a young child Bob would run out into the fields watching and identifying planes, who knew that little boy would grow up to fly the largest plane created by Boeing.

Growing up on the farm, there were many animals (Bob loves animals) he spoke of his dog Buster. This dog corralled the animals but Bob’s favorite story was when Buster showed their bull who was boss. Apparently, the bull was not listening to Buster and so when the bull tried to charge Buster, Buster grabbed the bull by its nose ring and would not let go. The bull gave cry and ran away…Bob would laugh so hard telling this story

Just like the old stories go…. Bob walked 2 miles to school, even in the Minnesota snow. In his early teens he moved to town and worked setting pins at the local bowling alley. When he came of age, he joined the U S Air Force.

A man who aspired to be a dentist and knew he was going to begin that career by joining the military. He went to the US Navy office but they were no longer accepting people, so he turned to the next office door which unbeknown to Bob influenced the rest of his life.

In the early part of joining the US Air Force, Bob was called home as his two younger brothers drowned on a fishing trip. The death of Marlyn and Delaino left Bob with no siblings and a heartfelt story he would speak about for many years to come.

While in the military Bob was an airplane mechanic but his real passion was for flying. After work he began classes at Boeing and though most thought he was crazy, Bob graduated and became a pilot. With 8+ world trips, he held residence in Tokyo, Los Angeles, Seattle and eventually Hilmar where he purchased his ranch and settled in. This ranch was his pride and joy, flying planes for Flying Tigers and eventually FedEx filled his passion and ranch life filled his soul (long nights irrigating, hours of gopher hunting and years of love for his land).

He loved playing guitar, riding his motorcycle, traveling, and reading books. Often you could find Bob sharing his stories about history, con trails, planes, world hunger, population control and the American Indians. He believed in giving back, helping those that just needed a little extra help to get them over the hump in bettering themselves.

A proud member of The Flying Tigers, OCTA (Oregon California Trail Association) and the American Legion. A large supporter of the St Joseph’s Indian School and the Buzzle-Osterdalen Church and Cemetery where Bob will find his final resting place.

My grandmother, Mary, was introduced to Bob in 2005 by her brother-in-law Tony at an American Legion dinner. Soon the two became inseparable. Bob played guitar with a veteran band in Fresno, and the two would travel often, for Mary shared Bob’s love for music and boy does she love to dance.

The two have traveled to many OCTA and Flying Tiger Conversations, even took the motorhome out a few times to visit family, friends and as many National history treasures Bob could fit in, as we all know how much he read and enjoyed history.

As the years passed we took many local trips but some of the most memorable were Monterey picnicking with Claudette and Mike, picnicking in Yosemite, taking photos on the Orange Blossom Trail, seeing the Wildlife Refuge where Bob would share stories of the wildlife around Bimidji where he grew up and the trip we most frequently took before Covid was to the American Legion, where we all enjoyed many friendships but especially our table (Henry/Bonnie, Bo/Diddi, Ed/Kay, and Adeline), food and Bingo Friday nights.

With the Covid shut down it became challenging to witness Bob’s dementia decline further. Though we are all so grateful for the brief clarity moments that still happened up to his dying day. In true Bob fashion, I would like to say Manatak my friend you’ll be missed.

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  1. tracileeschanke@yahoo.com says

    Dear Mary and family,

    Deepest condolences on Bob’s passing. He was a wonderful and long-time friend to my father, Wes Djonne. They grew up near each other and we’re in the same graduating class in high school. Bob always made time to visit our family when he came home to Minnesota, which was very exciting when we were kids – he had so many amazing stories! I had my first airplane ride with him in Bemidji when I was 5 years old. And my parents had a wonderful visit with him at the Hilmar ranch in the mid 1980s. For many years Bob would send us a huge box of almonds and dried apricots from his ranch at Christmas time, which was so thoughtful. Bob was a true friend to my dad and our family. He will be missed. Traci Djonne Schanke ❤️

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